Master’s student at Thomas Jefferson University Conducts a Fascinating Interview with Our Very Talented Real Estate Developer: Rahil Raza

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Master’s student at Thomas Jefferson University Conducts a Fascinating Interview with Our Very Talented Real Estate Developer: Rahil Raza

As Raza Properties continues to thrive with our wonderful CEO of Raza Properties, Rahil Raza persists to experience growth and success as a Real Estate Developer in Philadelphia.  Rahil’s determination, passion and perseverance demonstrate why he makes a good fit for this career as a professional real estate developer.  Rahil’s hard work and accomplishments certainly never go unnoticed. 

Rahil Raza was recently approached by a master’s student at Thomas Jefferson University who is studying Construction Management.  The student reached out to Rahil after reading about Raza Properties and Rahil’s story in the Philly Magazine and was very interested in learning more. The student mentioned how they are enrolled in a Real Estate course and one of their assignments is to conduct an interview with a Real Estate developer.  Rahil was honored that the student reached out to him to help the student with their interview assignment. Below are the student’s interview questions along with Rahil’s captivating responses: 

Tell me what a typical day on the job is like for you.

Every day is different as a real estate developer. The job is a very fluid job in that you have to respond to problems and issues right away. It’s tedious issues so you don’t get overwhelmed. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I work in our home office. I respond to emails, phone calls and text messages. Capital is one of the most important things in real estate. It’s important to stay in touch with your bank lenders. I will spend majority of my time on Mondays filling out bank applications so I can stay on top of construction loans. In addition to refinances for properties that have gone through the zoning process that we have building permits for and refinances for properties that are finished construction and leased up. I speak to my Property Manager daily to discuss issues that she is having as well as speaking to my Director of IT and Infrastructure for any issues with accounts payable and accounts receivable.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I walk through all of the construction sites with our Director of Operations and answer any question or issues that he needs help with. I will meet with my development partners, I give them updates on each project, cost reports and answer any questions that they may have. Furthermore, on Tuesdays and Thursdays are also an opportunity for me to look at potential acquisitions. Additionally, I will check in with my Communications Manager for updates on how showings are going, if there are any new tenants interested in moving in and discuss if there is anything we could do differently for future properties.

On Fridays, we have our company meeting at our home office which includes the heads of each department at Raza Properties: Property Manager, Director of IT and Infrastructure, Director of Operations and Communications Manager. During our meetings, we discuss each property in detail and determine if we need to change or modify our construction schedule in any way. Later, I will go on site and meet with the laborers to discuss updates on properties and upcoming construction projects. Lastly, every other Friday I run payroll for all my employees.

How and why did you decide to pursue this career?

I’ve been around real estate my entire life, it’s always been my dream to be a real estate developer. I started with my brother and we received a $1000,000.00 loan at 6.5% interest from my father to purchase a property in Point Breeze. From there we grew our business to almost 33 single family homes before branching out and pursing ventures.

What do you like most and least about your job and the field you’re in?

I love being able to help an area grow. It truly feels incredible to develop an area into its full potential; I like being able to direct capital into a specific area. I like knowing that my decisions create jobs and my choices to buy local and American made materials help to support our economy. Also, I love that I get to work with diverse groups of people and that we build houses for the middle class. What I dislike about my job is if I feel like I have to micro manage people because I believe everyone should self-manage their lives. I also dislike the book keeping aspect of business because it’s very difficult for me to sit in one place for a long time.

What are the qualities or personal characteristics you feel makes someone a good fit for this career? What would make this NOT the right fit for someone?

Good qualities or personal characteristics that I feel makes someone a good fit for this career includes: determination, compassion, passionate and perseverance. Qualities or personal characteristics that I feel would make this NOT the right fit for someone would be someone who easily gives up, weak-mindedness/pusillanimity, heartlessness and apathetic.

What types of real estate projects did you start off working on in your career and what project types are you working on now? Are there other project types that you want to explore?

I started rehabbing single family homes. Now we develop multi-family new construction buildings and a commercial mix use building. I would like to build high rise residential and commercial multi-family buildings. A project type that I would like to explore would be to build the tallest building in Philadelphia one day.

How does your company generate your project ideas?

Our project ideas derive from our internal interest in the North Francisville area. The design of the projects is a mixture of experience, past mistakes, impute from all our Raza Properties team members and feedback from past, current & potential tenants.

What future changes do you see in this field?

I think the use of technology, robotics and 3-D printing will be a huge part of construction. Also, installing new technologically advanced products in every unit will differentiate us from our competitors. Lastly, green building will be an essential component to help control emission and curb global warming.

What is your companies background? How/when was it started? etc.

After I graduated from Temple University School of pharmacy in May 2009, the country was in the midst of the recession which plagued our country from 2008 until 2013. I saw the economic turmoil and subsequent fallout from the housing bubble as an opportunity to get into the Real Estate market. Right at that moment, that is when I knew how I could use my determination and passion to begin my journey of becoming a successful real estate developer.

How it all started was when I saw firsthand the income and security benefits of investing in real estate and I proceeded to learn the tax benefits from my brother, a CPA. With this knowledge in hand and seed capital from my father, my brother and I started Raza enterprise in October 2009. Although it was challenging to get started, through hard work and ingenuity my brother and I were able to accumulate 28 properties, valued at 8MM in a little under six years. The investment strategy was simple; find a property that was damaged and neglected in a developing area, rehab it with the highest quality products, and attract the best tenants possible.

Today, I am an independent entity who partners with savvy investors. I stand strong on my formative foundation as I look to continue growing my company, Raza Properties in the future. Since 2009, my company Raza Properties, has developed over 155,000 of residential real estate in the Philadelphia area. Raza Properties owns and manages 85 Units and has evolved into a multi-faceted company that is on pace to hit 5 Million in revenue in 2018. I believe that my companies growth accelerates year after year as we gain experience, gain access to capital, and gain the trust of the communities who benefit from our commitment to excellence.

What is the most challenging part about financing a project?

Our banks are still reeling from the financial crisis from 2008. Most banks expect that same thing to happen at any time so they are extremely conservative when selecting a developer and selecting a project to fund it. It’s vital for me to have multiple banking contacts and maintain strong relationships with bank lenders.

How do you choose contractors/builders for your projects?

I work with people based on their character, skill sets, work ethic, determination, goal oriented and coordination. It’s a lot of trial an error when choosing contractors/builders for my company’s projects. People can be taught new skills but you can’t teach work ethic.

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